Qantas has announced plans to reopen selected international lounges in Australia, to coincide with the launch of the trans-Tasman travel bubble on April 19, which will see Qantas and Jetstar operate up to 122 weekly flights across the Tasman.
The carrier will reopen its First lounges at Sydney and Melbourne, alongside its International lounge at Brisbane, a year after they closed due to Covid-19.
Access to the First lounges will initially be extended to customers travelling in business class, as well as Gold Frequent Flyers and Qantas Club members, “until the neighbouring Business lounges reopen”.
“If you’re making a comeback, you should do it in style,” said Qantas CEO Alan Joyce. “That’s why we’ve decided to open our First lounges ahead of our other lounges and give more of our customers the opportunity to experience them.”
The carrier said that the rest of its international lounges in Australia and overseas would open “in line with the broader reopening of international borders and recommencement of the rest of Qantas’ international network”.
In February Qantas signalled that it would resume flights to London from late October, aligining with “the expected timeframe for Australia’s Covid-19 vaccine rollout to be effectively complete”.
Guests in the First lounges will be offered an a la carte dining experience by Neil Perry, “featuring some of the most popular menu items such as salt and pepper squid with green chilli dipping sauce, healthy bircher muesli for breakfast and the signature pavlova, as well as menu highlights from other Qantas lounges”.
Qantas lounges in New Zealand will remain closed for now, but Platinum and Gold Frequent Flyers and Qantas Club members will be able to access Air New Zealand’s lounges in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown.
Qantas Club members with a membership anniversary date between March 23, 2020 and February 2024 have already received a six-month extension, while Qantas Frequent Flyer memberships have been extended for 12 months.
In other news, Qantas has extended its agreement with Accor for the group to continue to manage its lounges for a further seven years.
Joyce said that “As our customers step back into our lounges for the first time in over a year, they will continue to receive the exceptional service they have been accustomed to from the Qantas and Accor teams”.
“Many of our frequent flyers who travel through the lounges regularly are like family to the Qantas and Accor team members who take great pride in knowing their coffee or wine preferences, family members names, birthdays and anniversaries.”